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tv   The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer  CNN  March 8, 2010 5:00pm-8:00pm EST

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what they did announce is they will be investigating and they expect to do interviews with both him and her over the next several days, and will come to some kind of determination to whether or not charges will be filed against big ben. we'll be all over this story. thanks so much for being with us. this is "rick's list." now "the situation room" with wolf blitzer. rick, thanks very much. president obama injects anger into his final push for health care reform. and whether this new strategy is likely to get him across the finish line. a democrat congressman is resigning, and not going -- house leaders wants to get rid of him. and she was pulled from the rubble of the hatee earthquake just 2 months old. now she's been thrown into an international custody battle. we'll follow up on the story of
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a rescued orphan who may not be an orphan after all. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." it's hard to tell which he dislikes more. they were both prime targets of his remarks, part of his final push for health care reform. listen to his opening shot. >> when you're in washington, folks respond to every issue, every decision, every debate, with the same question. what does this mean for the next election? what does it mean for your poll numbers? is this good for the democrats or the republicans?
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who won the news cycle? that's how washington is. they can't help it. >> the president went on to slam private health insurance. he recounseleded. >> this broker said that insurance companies know they will lose customers if they keep on raising premiums, but because there's so much competition in the insurance industry, they're okay with people being priced out of the insurance market, because, first of all, a lot of folks will be stuck. even if some people drop out, they'll still make more money by raising premiums on customers they keep. si mean, it's no secret, they're telling their people there. >> they tried to get voters as fired up about passing health
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care reform as he is. >> i'll be honest with you. i don't know how passing health care will be politically, but i know it's the right thing to do. it's right for our families. it's right for our businesses. it's right for the united states of america, and if you share that belief, i want you to stand with me and fight with me, and i ask you to help us get us over the finish line the next two weeks. >> ed henry is watching all of this. is this a new tone on the part of the president? >> no doubt about it. when you talk to some of the president's top aides what they say are two big things. number one, he's trying to reframe this debate. there's so many nervous democrats thinking health care is a loser for them, trying to say, looks, regardless of what you -- this is the right thing to do. it will help you. secondly, i just talked to a white house aide who was saying,
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basically they feel, you mentioned goldman sachs investor call, where there was an analyst basically saying even if they lose people and more people lose coverage, they'll make up the money with the insurance premium hikes. this white house aide was saying the insurance companies are handing us a gift, one story after another about insurance premium hikes. they are saying this would be a major part of what they're calling the closing argument in this debate. what i found most interesting is after this big rally, where the president no doubt was fired up, arlen specter, a republican now a democrat, running a tough race in pennsylvania said he thought the president was very strong today, but he wishes he had been more fiery, say at the state of the union a couple months ago. that makes you wonder, is this too little too late, wolf? >> there have been a whole series of deadlines that have come and go. they missed quite a few. early august last year, labor
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day came and went, halloween, thanksgiving, christmas, new year's still no final health care bill. this year the goal was to get it passed by the state of the union address. that didn't happen. recently the white house has been pushing for a bill by citi patrick's day before the president leaves for asia. democrats hope this is all said and done before easter. here's the question. will it be? >> good question. yesterday when kathleen sebelius was on nbc, she was dancing around whether there really still was a deadline of march 18th, as robert gibbs said yesterday. today i noticed the president did not mention any sort of deadline at this big rally. i pressed a wois aide if the deadline was still alive, and they said absolutely. but will they? they're not sure yet. >> in that speech the other day, he said the next few weeks. let me move on to another issue. there's an intriguing development that happened at the
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white house today. lindsey graham, a republican from south carolina, all of a sudden shows up with chuck schumer to meet with the president to discussing immigration reform? >> absolutely. solven an unexpected, but what's interesting, we joust got a development. it turns out the meeting did not go forward. it turns out there was a flight delay for lindsey graham, so he ended up not making this meeting, but the story behind it is that chuck schumer and lindsey graham have a bipartisan immigration reform bill. the president had vowed he would try to tackle this issue during his first year in office. he didn't get to do that. but there's a big rally planned a couple weeks from immigration reform advocates saying the president hasn't done enough. the back story is the white house was putting this meeting together to try to get some momentum. white house aide just told me they're going to have a meeting with some of these rally folks
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who are upset about the president's efforts so far this thursday with without staff and trying to reschedule this meeting with senator schumer and graham as well. big development. they're trying to get the ball moving, while trying for do a whole lot else. >> and that's a pretty sensitive issue. ed, stand by. as of right now, eric massa of new york is a former congressman. his recent ig nation went into effect in just a few moments ago, but the controversy may just be beginning. he's disputing an allegation that he sexually harassed a male staffer. brianna keilar is following the story up on capitol hill. brianna, what's going on? >> reporter: wolf, on local radio over the weekend, he took aim at steny hoyer, saying he intentionally drew attention to his woes.
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massa says the democratic leaders want him out of congress. health care vote is expected to be close and he was planning on breaking with leaders. >> i was set up from there from the very, very beginning. if you think somehow they didn't come after me to get rid of me because my vote is a deciding vote, then ladies and gentlemen you live in a world so innocent not to understand what's going on in washington, d.c. >> reporter: a spokesman for hoyer's office se there's -- he's facing allegations that -- massa has acknowledged -- my own language failed to meet the standards that i set for those around me and myself. but on a local radio station in his district, said the incident took place at the wedding of one of his staffers, painting a
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picture of lewd, locker room banter. >> maybe that i should be chasing at the bridesmaid, and his words were far more colorful than that. i grabbed the staff member sitting next to me and said, well, what i ought to be doing is -- and towsled the guy's hair, because i knew the party was getting to a point where it wasn't right for me to be there. was it inappropriate? absolutely. am i guilty? yes. >> hoyer's office denies that his acknowledgement of these ethics issue has anything to do with health care. his office says he was trying to do the right thing, that if leadership knows about a concern, it's incumbent upon them to make sure the committee knows about it. >> is he right, he was the deciding vote? >> reporter: it's too soon to have an accurate vote count, but what you can say, is that with
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having one less "no" vote, wolf, that's certainly a good thing for democratic leaders, that means they don't have to match it with a "yes" vote, but it's just too soon to tell. >> eric massa will be a guest of larry king tomorrow night. thanks very much, brianna. in iraq, officials are preparing to announce initial results from the parliamentary elections. the top u.s. military commander in iraq says he's ready to declare the weekend vote a success. general raymond odierno tells me he's pleased with the turnout and says violence was kept relatively low. i asked him how that might affect the timetable for withdrawal. does that mean the military forces you command will be able to withdraw on schedule? just to remind our viewers, by the end of this august, 50,000 combat troops are supposed to be out. by the end of next year, 2011, the remaining 50,000 are
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supposed to be out. is all of that on schedule? >> i feel confident that it is. this is an evolutionary process, and we've been slowly turning over more and more responsibility to the iraqi security forces. i believe today that, by august, we'll be able to be down by 50,000 people. i believe by the end of 2011, we will leave iraq. >> the interview with general odierno airs in the next hour here in "the situation room," the full interview. stand by for that. president obama seems to be getting flak from all sides these days. the drama inside pennsylvania avenue, why some may liken it to an episode of "lost."
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♪ so when the time comes to bust open a can of doing... we've got all the tools for all the things we need to make 'em happen. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. right now, get scotts nature scapes mulch for the new lower price of just $3.88. president obama now has a nominee for a job that's critical to the safety of millions of american travelers. the homeland security secretary janet napolitano made the announcement after many months of criticism. let's go to our homeland security correspondent jeanne meserve. she has details. >> wolf, there has been a gap. the trps security administration has not had a leader since the bush administration. now a new name has been put forward.
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roger harding has 33 years of army service, much of it in top military intelligence jobs. >> if there were ever a nominee who warranted expedited and detailed consideration in the senate, this is it. >> errol southers, the previous nominee, never did get a full vote. he withdrew his name. but senator jim demint put a hold over unionizing tsa officers. demint says that would slow the agency's responsiveness, but yust unions involved said it shouldn't be an issue. >> those wo say they're going to hold this up and then in the same breath say they're worried about national security, they ought to look look at what they're saying. >> reporter: it is unclear whether demint will hold up the
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harding nomination, saying i'm interested in hearing house his military experience would inform his leadership of our nation's transportation security. nothing in harding's recent mags indicates a background in aviation or transportation, but experts we spoke to today felt his intelligence background is a big plus. wolf? >> in other areas in his background lickly to get scrutiny? >> i would think so, wolf. after he left the military, he started up a consulting firm. it's likely those contracts may get some scrutiny. we tried to ask questions about those things today, but the homeland security secretary wasn't taking any questions on this intent to nominate this candidate. wolf? >> i'm sure we'll cover the confirmation hearings up on the hill thoroughly. je jeanne, thank you. sort of like the popular and influential tea party movement, but with a twist. our lisa sylvester is looking
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into it. what is brewing? >> pull up to the table, wohl. there's a new political drink. it's not about tea, but the coffee party movement. coffee with a side of politics. the coffee party is branding itself as the alternative to the tea party movement. sunday, a small group gathered at the one world cafe for the first meeting of the baltimore chapter. among them jerlen -- >> i don't think think the more reasonable people, whether they agree or disagree, are being heard. >> reporter: members lean to the left and share common goals -- stop the shouting and get things done in washington. >> we want to operate using civility rather than hateful rhetoric. >> hopefully this would be an independent political movement, independent of the two parties, and really develop pressure to push the democrats as well as
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the republicans in the right direction. >> reporter: the national group has taken off, weekly meetings around the country, from st. louis to d.c., to knoxville, tennessee. annabelle park is the partner. >> we are trying to change our political culture. we're not trying to start a third party. we have to approach the entire process with the understanding that we already are a community. we have shared goals and values. and that we can't get divided and separated over our differences, right? no more grandstanding, you know? that should not be rewarded. >> reporter: but conservative bloggers see the coffee group as a watered-down version of the tea party movement. they say park is a political operative who has worked as a convenient tore for the obama campaign action and before that for james webb's campaigns, and dismissed the party party as political froth. >> it's driven from the top down. it's not a grass-roots movement
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coming from the bottom up. >> reporter: but the coffee movement has more than 60 groups nationwide. on facebook, the number of fans has grown from 9,000 members to more than 90,000 in the last three weeks. >> annabelle park's response about being involved in the obama campaign, she doesn't see a problem with it. she says there are many people with many different political backgrounds and ultimately it's a group about engaged citizens. march 13th they're planning a national coffee party today. this summer they're planning on having a convention. >> tea party, coffee party, we'll watch them all. thanks, lisa, for that. if that cheap internet airfare sounds too good to go true, guess what? it just might be,
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lisa, what else is going on? >> us airways has been fined.
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the airline's website advertised a price for one-way fares without showing the taxes and fees that could be tacked on. the transportation department says that's against the rules. legal documents show the airline blames the violation on an inadvertent programming error. and a kansas city church that loudly protests soldiers' funerals will have its free speech case heard by the u.s. supreme court. they carry signs with messages such as thank god for dead soldiers, saying god is using troop deaths as punishment for homosexuality. the west borrow baptist church was successfully sued by the father of a fallen soldier in maryland, but that ruling was overturned, and the justices decided today they will hear the father's appeal during the high court's fall term. part of a mountainside came tumbling down in colorado, punches being holes into a stretch of interstate about 120
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miles from denver. now parts of i-70 near glenwood springs are closed, and construction crews certainly have their work cut out for them. transportation officials say about 20 boulders smashed into the roadway, and at least one of the holes is large enough to swallow an suv. a balloon-powered banner landed three greenpeace activists in trouble with the law. they were arrested for releasing the protest sign inside the senate hart office building. it criticized lisa mur cows kiss for her ties to exxon, achieve ron and southern company. . wolf? >> thanks a lot, lisa. we'll get back to you as well. the political life the health care reform, what's going on, and what's the role being played by the white house chief of staff? we'll talk about rahm emanuel and why he's fighting a army of
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critics. that's in our "strategy session." ten years after john mccain says he was a victim of a smear campaign, karl rove reveals what he knows and doesn't know about it.
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to our viewers, you're in "the situation room." happening now, the dubai murder mystery grows as interpol widens its search for another 16 suspects possibly linked to the slaying, but our investigators
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are they any closer to catching an assassin? growing backlash, why some on the right say she's wrong about the justice department. and a baby heroically pulled from the rubble in haiti, but now complicated questions about whether she's an orphan after all. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in "the situation room." >> he reportly urged staffers not to get distracted by any disputes or drama inside the white house. let me read in a new article of "the new yorker." george parker say this, to be an effective communicator, a
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president needs a strong world view, a fundamental vision of why things are the way they are and how they ought to be, which can be simplified into a few key ideas and imjs and short idea allege. for obama and his advisers, there is no worse pejorative. pretty strong words. >> yes, it is. this is a group of people that don't like the typecasting of washington. you always hear the president talking about the cable chatter, right and left, and they wanted to break through that and find a center. ironically, by not being able to secure that center, what they have done is made this town much more idea logically ridge i had. it's exactly the opposite, wolf, of what they intended to do when they came into office. >> that was entitled "obama's lost year, the president's failure to connect with ordinary americans." has he failed to connect? >> when you talk to people in
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washington, they say yes, that's it. some blame the crowded agenda and say he should have focused on jobs from day one, but first of all, the economic recovery act, they feel this presidents really hasn't explained it well enough to people. it's hard to say, look, i saved a lot of jobs. there are folks in congress, particularly democrats who say, he should have been talking a lot more about that. then he got off on health care reform, and had a mixed message on that, wolf, started talking about it as a way to reduce the deficit, then talked about it as health insurance reform. he doesn't communicate with the american people about how this bill was going to make their insurance better. in fact, he didn't communicate
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an awful lot about how it was going to insure another 30 million more people. so, again, the great communicator, who did so well during the campaign, somehow lost his voice in all of this, and that's what people are scratching their heads about. >> he's not only being hit from the right, but being hit from the left as well, this ad that sees barack obama morphing into george w. bush because of his changing policies at guantanamo bay and where to try khalid shaikh mohammed and other terror detainees. it's a serious potential problem. >> it ises, and a lot of his left base doesn't like the health care reform bill, because it doesn't contain the public option, which is something they wanted. it's very clear they understood that at a certain point they would have po part ways, but
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what folks are worried about, wolf, is heading into this midterm election, you have a lot of democrats whose seats are on the line here. what you need to protect those democratic seats is an intense turnout. this president was able to do that in 2008. he changed the composition, brought in younger voters, minority voters. the question is will he be able to help the democrats get their voters out in the fall or whether this liberal base, which is pretty turned off, will sit on its hand and say, you know what? can't help you now. >> we're so happy you made your debut on "saturday night live." we've got the clips, we'll show the viewers. >> sure. >> we go now live to another part of the studio where senior political analyst glorgeia borger will read a stranger's e-mail. >> thank you. wolf. this just in, mike dagastino
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writing, i think the real problem on camp tuesday is the food. why i got to eat turkey burgers every day and why they don't -- and where my frisbee at? probing questions, mike. back to you, wolf. >> well, back to you, wolf. anytime kristin can play me, i'm thrilled. >> it was pretty cool. >> it was a lot of fun. >> you're huge. >> my kids are thrilled. >> i know. good work. glorgeia borger will be back. this note to our viewers, tomorrow major discussion here on education. bill bennett, the reagan education secretary and arne duncan, the obama education secretary. they're both together. is there areas of compromise, bipartisan agreement? differences? we'll talk about education, a major discussion here tomorrow. we heard president obama rail about washington turning
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politics into sport. does he have a point? we'll speak about it. the mystery and conflicting information surrounding an alleged al qaeda operative arrested in pakistan. why there's so much confusion about who this man really is. yet no one knows our name. ♪ get down tonight that's about to change. so you'll pay for the tour, but i have to change my name? no, you're still kc, but from now on, they will be the sun life band. it's funky. sooner or later, you'll know our name. sun life financial. is difficult to attain. a reputation for unsurpassed quality and industry-leading customer service, even more so. which is why it must be earned. every day. every mile. with every driver.
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to help you save up to half off. and get your big hotel deal now. because big deal days won't last long at priceline. lisa is monitoring other top stories. what's going on? >> hi, wolf. a man charged with hoping a
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terrorist organization in somalia made an appear yaps in a new york courtroom. it accused him of training with the group al shabab, and providing material support. it's listed as a terrorist organization trying to impose strict islamic law throughout somalia. his lawyer says he'll plead not guilty. a death row inmate managed to overdose on pills just hours before his scheduled excuse. now governor ted strickland is postponing the lethal injection as he recovers. the convicted murderer is said to be in stable condition. an investigation is under way at the ohio state penitentiary in youngstown. and if a vaccine gives your child serious health problems, can you sue? the supreme court decided today it will take on the case. parents in pittsburgh want to sue wyeth over the serious side
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effects they say their infant daughter suffered after taking a vaccine, but an appeals court says a federal law bars their claim. he's known by some as rahm-bo. >> we'll have a good discussion on that. plus he started out as a comedian on "saturday night live."
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a developing story, significant developing story. lisa, what are you picking up? >> wolf, this is a real significant development for anyone who has been following closely the story of the tankers. this is whether or not and where the next generation of air refueling tanks will be, and we've heard that northrop grumman has pulled out of the competition. we have a statement we can read from the ceo. he said the contract does not provide adequate value recognition of the added capability of a larger tanker
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precluding us from any competitive opportunity. to essentially break that down action what that means is boeing was offering a smaller plane, the 767 as the model of what they would build. northrop grumman had a larger plane. northrop grumman was actually awarded the contract in 2008, but boeing protested, saying the pentagon changed some of the rules and requirements of what they were looking for. now in the end, you can see that boeing is now the only competitor left so that this contract will likely go -- by the way, it's a $35 billion contract, really big win for workers in washington state and kansas, wolf. >> significant story all around. thanks very much, lisa. >> the time for debate is over. president obama is keeping washington and the news media in the cross hairs. he was all fired up talking in
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philadelphia earlier. >> who won the news cycle? that's just how washington is, they can't help it. they are obsessed with the sport of politics. and so that's the environment in which elected officials are operating. you've seen all the pundits pontificating and talking all over each other, yelling, shouting, and they can't help themselves. that's what they do. >> let's discuss whatted president is saying with david gergen, with david gergen, james carville and ed rollins. james, you're smiling like that. whenever a politician goes after the news media like that, it's a sign of trouble for the politici politician. >> it is. maybe the president was surprised to find pundits when he came to washington, but we've been around for quite a while.
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i don't know, probably not deserving of very much, but i don't know if we deserve all the attention we're getting from the president. but we're here and having here for a while. >> ed, you're a part of that cable chatter. >> i've been -- i was in the white house when available was in its infancy, but certainly it's had an impact. the bottom line he's the 4th man to serve in the oval office. every single president at some point in time has complained about the immediaty, whether it was pamphlet in the case of george washington or cable television in today. i've found the presidents have two great days in the white house, one when their first day, and when they dedicate their library. when things aren't going well, then there's a lot of dissent. i think this president comes off
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very whiney, and i think it's beneath him. he picked the agenda, he ran with the agenda. he's had a year to sell health care, he's not made a case to the american public, and at the end of the day, he can't whine about it. >> david, if there was ever a president with favorable media attention, it was this president. he really did have a nice honeymoon as far as i can recall. >> he had an extraordinary honeymoon. i think some points are well taken. they've been making these points incessantly for a period of weeks, but i think ed has the bigger point. when you're president, you don't whine about these things, you learn to play the game well, and you master the game so that you get your things done. everybody inherits politics in washington that is imperfect. it's a terrible politics in
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washington today. we believe the political culture is poison out, but the point is to learn to master it so that it responds to you. i think they ought to stop talking about these things and just get on with it. >> i think that's an excellent point. isn't that why there are david axelroding or robert gibes in the white house so they can whine about the coverage, but it beneath the president to do so? >> he has the north koreans to deal with, the iranians, the congress to deal with, unemployment and collapse in the housing market. he's got enough to not worry about us flapping our jaws, but the truth of the matter is he's in a pretty good position to succeed. i think they're awfully close to having the votes on this health care thing which will be utterly historic, and if he gets this thing to his desk, we'll cover this thing like you've never seen. i think the economy a lot of people think it will create jobs before long, so look, mr.
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president if you're coming in september with health care legislation and the economy is on the mechbd again, you'll be doing pretty good. just give it a little time. maybe this thing will may out your way, but we're not your problem. >> you know, there's a lot of focus on rahm emanuel, the white house chief of staff, some people are saying the president should have listened more, others you say he's way out on the sides right now. how do you read -- what do you interpret this little battle over rahm emanuel. >> i've been on the opposite side of realm for a long time. he's one of the most able guys i've opposed. he has great skill, they're lucky to have him. at the enof the day when you're the chief of staff, no matter how able you are, whether dick cheney's chief of staff or, you get beat up. he's getting beat up too. part of it a bit of a profile problem. when you start getting front page stories saying how great you are, there's a bunch of
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people in the background who want to make sure they know you're not quite so smart. david and i have both fallen victim to this and probably did a bit of it, at the end of the day, realm has a tough job and i think he's been a real asset. >> david, you worked with him in the clinton white house? >> i agree with ed rollins' assessment. i think the profiles are damaging in part, because they're doing so at the expend of the president. if the president had only been smart enough to listen to rahm emanuel, so goes the argument, he would be a much more effective leader right now. that's clearly not helpful. what he did the other day is call the aides and say stop this, he has to slam the gates shut on this conversation and then put hi arm around rahm emanuel and the other aides, saying you're my guys, you're my team, let's go. >> wrap this up for us, james. i say that, knowing you're one of his best friends, we know that. >> right. right.
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you know what? he doesn't like these stories any more than other people in the white house like them. as soon as it rujs in the paper in the morning, he can't eat breakfast. he knows they're not any good. they've taken a life on their own. the truth of the matter is realm's a compelling guy, and people like to write and talk about him. that's just the way it is. you know, just win, baby, get the health bill through, and get this economy on the mend, and you'll be a genius again and everybody will love everybody. >> and more articles are on the way, including next sunday's "new york times" magazine has a major article by peter baker. guys, thanks very much. dick cheney's daughter liz is getting heat from members of her own party. at issue, her group's criticism of lawyers who have represented terror suspects. did she cross a line and undermine america's legal sim? we'll hear what her critics and defenders are saying.
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ask me. even if you think your mattress is just fine...
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on our political ticker senator al franken will soon add comic book hero to his resumé. the book is due out in may and will trace his career from comedian and writer for "saturday night live" to radio talk show host to junior senator from minnesota. other politicians featured in comics include president obama and president reagan and the late senator ted kennedy. karl rove said he has nothing to do with the 2000
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smear campaign against john mccain. the former aid to president george w. bush said he was not the source of the rumor during the campaign b that mccain fathered a black child out of wedlock, but rove said he was an easy target for critics. that was a false rumor. the mccains adopted an orphan from bangladesh. the president welcomed the university of alabama football team to the white house today. he congratulated the crimson tide for their successful season and joked about an aid not in attendance. >> welcome to the white house. congratulations on your 13th -- let me check that -- 13th national championship. [ cheers ] >> the first in 17 years. it's safe to say the tide is back. i've got to tell you everyone was really excited about this team coming today except for my press secretary robert gibbs
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because he was born and raised in auburn. he's hiding in his office right now. >> the president received a football helmet and a jersey from the alabama players. an orphan pulled from the rubble who may not be an orphan. we're going to earthquake-ravaged haiti for the details of a complicated custody battle. oh sure, we have plenty of employees that... you can label as "different." like janice. uh-huh. yeah. fashion deficient. and tom... copy incapable.
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she was believed to be one of haiti's manier orphans. a baby girl rescued from the ruins of the earthquake and brought to the united states. now there are questions about whose baby this is. elizabeth cohen joins us now, just back from haiti where you have been investigating. what did you find out? >> first of all, this baby is very close to my heart. i was there in january watching as the doctors tried to rescue her. i never thought the story would continue like this.
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i was at this hospital in port-au-prince about seven weeks ago when i witnessed an incredible rescue of a tiny baby. she was just 2 months old when she was pulled from the rubble. she'd been there alone for five days. the baby girl was near death, barely breathing. doctors from project medishare at the university of miami fought to stabilize her so they could fly her to a hospital in the united states. doctors thought the baby was an orphan and told the ambulance driver they'd name the baby after her if she got to the plane on time and she did. the driver's name was patricia. i thought it was a simple, happy ending, but it turns out the story is far from simple. a couple from haiti has now come forward claiming that baby patricia is their daughter. they say she's no orphan and that her name isn't patricia, it's jenny and they want her back. we're told the parents live here in one of these tent cities. i'm going to try to find them.
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[ singing in foreign language ] >> what does that mean? it's beautiful. >> every time i think of jenny, i want to go crazy. i lose my man. >> reporter: this man and his wife say they are the baby's parents. >> this is the baby's card. >> reporter: these are her vaccinations, doctors' notes. >> you say this is your baby. >> translator: yes, jenny's my daughter. >> reporter: how does it feel as a mother to know your baby has just flown off without you to another country? >> translator: she said, i have a lot of problems, she said. i can't sleep. it's giving me a lot of problems. this is a bible i have had since the baby was born and the bible was under the baby's head always. she found the bible. >> reporter: so this baby says "jenny alexis born november 1,
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2009 at 10:00 p.m." i have told the story to people and they say this is just a couple in haiti that wants to get to the united states. they are claiming a baby that's not theirs. what do they say to that? >> translator: we don't know about that, he said. we just have a baby that they took. they're helping us, they took the baby, but we're here. we're happy that they are helping the baby, but it's help, but we need our baby. [ singing in foreign language ] >> wolf, i spoke with an official from the state of florida this afternoon. he says there is no question in his mind that these babies are the parents. he thinks the dna tests will confirm it. >> you will stay on top of this for us. elizabeth, thank you very much. to our viewers, you're in "the
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situation room". happening now, vote counting is under way in iraq. officials say the elections went well despite violence. for now they are sticking to the withdrawal plan. i will speak to genere odierno this hour. some say she's more politically combative than her father but now liz chain is taking heat from other. and a worldwide alert in terms of a hit team accused of killing a hamas commander. has the trail gone cold? i'm wolf blitzer. we want to welcome viewers in the united states and around the world. you're in "the situation room." they are counting the ballots in iraq a day after millions turned out for elections. the out come determines the next government as u.s. troops prepare to withdraw, but the
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vote was marred by violence and many iraqis are paying a bitter price for democracy. r. wood damon has the story from baghdad. >> reporter: little 5-year-old yusef may not be eligible to vote but he's practicing for the day. >> translator: after we heard the explosion this morning, we decided not to come, his mother said, but he insisted and said, no, we have to viet. despite the violence, the insurgent threat, iraqis came to the polls. families with children dressed in their best outfits, more excited than parents for a special day out, but no one is expecting immediate change. one of the volunteers tells us. >> translator: we have had such a hard time. we just want something better for our children. >> reporter: among the many iraqis we have been talking to, there is a sense of defiance. there is also hope or as iraqis say in shallah, god willing the
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risk will be worth it, that the next government will provide the things they desperately need. at this polling center, some, like these two women, were unable to vote, told their names weren't on the voters' list. what most iraqis want from the election is the same thing they wanted when they voted five years ago, what the current government failed to deliver -- basic services, jobs, and most of all, still security. this time though, political blocs are all trying to cross sectarian lines and people are realizing the power of the vote. the next lesson of democracy however will be for the politicians themselves. >> i think the most important thing after these elections is the results will be accepted. that winners and losers understand and acknowledge mutual responsibilities as government party, as opposition party. they're all essential for a true democratic process.
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>> reporter: all indications point to a close race. pr preliminary results won't be available for days. cnn, baghdad. >> iran's president is lashing out at the united states call it is terror attacks of 9/11, in his words a, quote, big lie. mahmoud ahmadinejad is quoted as saying it was a sophisticated intelligence measure, his words, meant to serve as a pretext for sending troops to afghanistan. the iranian leaderer's outburst comes as the u.s. presses for tougher sanctions against iran. our foreign affairs correspondent jill doherty has been looking into it. a war of words going on. >> right, wolf. the obama administration is upping the ante now. in what could be a provocative move they are giving iranians more ways of getting around
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government control. during iran's street protests, social networking helped demonstrators get the message to each other and to the world. now calling it a vital tool for change, the obama administration is easing restrictions, allowing u.s. internet providers like microsoft and yahoo to export software and services like instant messaging and blogging to iran's people. secretary of state hillary clinton says if iran calls itself a democracy it should act like one. >> in the 21st century expression and assembly are carried out on the internet as well as in person. so we are going to continue to support those iranians who wish to circumvent and be able to communicate without being blocked by their own government. >> reporter: the u.s. is now lobbying countries around the world to support what secretary clinton calls crippling new sanctions. with a new target, iran's revolutionary guard corps which
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controls many of iran's critical industries. a top u.s. general isn't mincing words. >> i think you have heard it said by pundits that iran has gone from being a theocracy to a thugocracy. >> reporter: officials warn iran's influence extends beyond its borders. defense secretary gates says iran is playing a double game in afghanistan, trying to work with afghans and help the taliban, too. the top general in the region agrees saying while they have provided the afghans financial support -- >> then they also have done things like provide weaponry to the taliban. and even though i am convinced that the iranians do not want the taliban to win, i think they are happy to see afghans killing other afghans. i think that's the tragedy of it. >> reporter: so this is a push for new sanctions, but what about the existing ones? well, a new york times report shows that actually there is
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weak enforcement in some cases for those existing sanctions. it found out that the u.s. government over the past ten years has given more than $107 billion in contracts and grants to u.s. and international multinational corporations that are doing business with iran. wolf? >> jill dougherty, thank you. interpol has its highest alert for suspects of killing a top hamas commander. the suspects left behind clues in dubé boo doubai but has the cold? paula hancocks has the latest from jerusalem. >> reporter: interpol has expanded the search for the killers of a hamas leader. it issued red notices for suspects, 15 of whom already have been identified by police. the purpose is to alert police
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forces around the world that the men and women are wanted. so interpol is helping dubai police track 27 suspects in all which dubai police believe are directly or indirectly involved in the assassination of mahmoud al mabhouh in january. this investigation is said to be very thorough and they have established clear links through passport records, video surveillance, dna analysis, witness interviews, hotel credit card, phone and transport records. it is an exhaustive investigation, but the fact remains there are 27 alleged suspects still at large. we know for a fact that the vast majority of them used fake names, stolen identities and fraudulent passports. so even with the new move it is hard to see how much closer dubai police are to apprehending the alleged killers. wolf? >> all right, paula's back in jerusalem from dubai.
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liz cheney's backlash from the right. why she's taking heat from conservatives over an ad criticizing the obama justice department. and obama officials say they have nabbed a key al qaeda operative, but if it's not the american-born spokesman, who is it? and iraq's election is called a success. what does it mean for american troops? i'll ask general ray odierno. boss:hey, glad i caught you. i was on my way to present ideas
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she may like a good fight as much as the former vice president, but this time has liz cheney gone way too far? criticism of the justice department lawyers who once defended terror suspects is now leading to a conservative backlash against dick cheney's daughter. brian todd is here looking into it. passions running high on this story. >> and it could cause more division within the republican party, but then again, the cheney faction may be getting what it wants -- more stir in the war on terror. she's her father's close confidante sometimes thought to be more combative politically than him. now things are growing more intention. several lawyers including former independent counsel ken starr are taking sides and defending the obama justice department. it started with an ad posted by liz cheney's group, keep america
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safe blasting attorney general eric holder for hiring from his department several lawyers who represented suspected terrorists and accused holder of stonewalling senators who wanted to know who they were. >> whoez values do they share? tell eric holder americans have a right to know the identity of the al qaeda 7. >> reporter: in response, that group of conservative lawyers issued a statement calling the republicans' criticism of holder's team shameful and unjust. in addition to ken starr, one of the cigarette any toirs is bradford berenson, an attorney in the bush/cheney white house. where does this go out of bounds in your view? >> it's unfair to is suggest these lawyers sympathize with al qaeda, its aims or ideology. these lawyers, by and large, took the positions they did because they had views on some very significant and important legal issues, views that in some cases ultimately were endorsed by the supreme court. >> reporter: we contacted liz cheney for response.
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she declined to go on camera but referred us to a web posting from bill crystal, conservative columnist, who's on the board of keep america safe. crystal writes, they aren't criticizing holder for hiring attorneys who represented detainees but for taking months to december clois who the lawyers were and for having them work on u.s. policy toward suspected terrorists. a justice official says the lawyers' identities were public information and the rules don't prohibit them from making detainee policy. it is said the spat divides republicans and may give more backbone to the obama team over detainees. >> we had seen signs of wavering on how they treat detainees. this may help them stick to the plan. >>still you can bet republicans who have been pressuring the obama team will keep it up. they will likely make political
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hay out of the fact that holder's team has nine attorneys who have represented suspected terrorist. tony west represented so-called american taliban john walker lynn. wolf? >> the obama team has a counter to the argument. >> that's right. i was told there was a formal argument that the detainees at bagram have no formal rights and he says west opposed the release of detainees. that's how they make the point that their work now has no effect on what they did in the past. >> why did liz cheney stir up a hornets' nest among conservatives? let's discuss it with jeffrey tubin. what do you make of the debate? >> well, you know, i'm not usually in the habit of agreeing with ken starr. he is exactly right here. since 1770 when john adams defended the british soldiers
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who were accused in the boston massacre, it's one of the highest traditions of american lawyers to defend unpopular causes. that's what the lawyers were doing. brian mentioned neil catyal. he represented salim hamdan in his case in the supreme court and won it 5-3. the fact he won the case suggested he must have been doing a good job and had a good legal claim regardless of the client. >> he was a highly respected professor of law at georgetown. i have moderated seminars with him on the panel. he obviously knows his stuff. does it surprise you though that the obama justice department has nine lawyers who had previously represented some of the terror suspects? >> not at all. this was one of the most high profile political controversies of the bush years. the whole treatment of the
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detainees, guantanamo. it is not surprising that lawyers who were opposed to that policy went into the administration that ran for office objecting to those policies. so that's -- it's not surprising. there is nothing unethical about it, nothing particularly controversial about it and it's only when lawyers -- anyway, it's just -- that's not surprising. >> but should the justice department disclose when somebody goes to work there as a new political appointee, if you will, the case history or is that going way too far? >> you know, i don't think a political appointee is obliged to talk about every case they ever had if they are subject to senate confirmation, that's fair gachlt that comes out in the questionnaires that the senators require the administration officials to fill out. if they are lower level appointees who are not subject to senate confirmation, i think
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it is really not fair game. how much do they have to disclose? do they have to disclose if they are gay? if they are democrats or republicans? these are positions that are within the administration's purview to appoint and who all their clients are in the past doesn't seem relevant to me. >> if you look at the names of those who joined ken starr in writing this letter, criticizing liz cheney and the others who made an issue out of this, this is literally a who's who of the legal brain trust of the bush administration. >> absolutely. you know, they are people who understand the difference between advocacy for a legal position and embrace of the political cause of the client who has that legal position. i mean, there is historically been a very big difference between legal issues and the people who represent them. there are often terrible people who have legal issues that are very important -- things like
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the right to counsel, the death penalty. these issues have always been advocated by lawyers who don't agree, who don't admire clients but are trying to preserve the rule of law. i think they are only the to be admired and the republican lawyers who were embracing them here are only to be admired as well.jeffrey, thank you. a big splash at the oscars for an explosive film about the war in iraq. we'll hear about "the hurt locker." and a deadly earthquake -- this one in turkey. are the tremors connected? stay with us. of aches
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lisa sylvester is monitoring top stories "the situation room" now. what else is going on? >> a blast and a deadly shootout rocked a city in afghanistan today. troops killed two gunmen.
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the gunmen detonated a bomb and stormed an empty police building. a police officer and an afghan army sollier were wounded but the actual police station is next door. officials believe the attackers may have mistakenly targeted the wrong building. one of two baptist missionaries still held in haiti is out of jail. charisa coulter, the woman in the orange shirt, was take frn the jail cell to her airport. she and nine other americans were arrested for trying to take 33 chirp out of haiti after the earthquake. the group's leader, laura silsby, is still behind bars. a helicopter slammed into a soccer field during a game in guatemala city. all six were injured, three seriously. everyone on the ground ran to safety after noticing that the helicopter was looking for a place to land. investigators are looking into reports that the private chopper ran out of gas just before sunday's crash.
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ann early morning earthquak killed more than 50 people in turkey. government officials say 70 others are hurt after the earthquake which the u.s. geological survey registered at 5.9. aftershocks have been rattling some of the hardest hit villages in the southeastern part of the nation throughout the day. we have seen earthquake after earthquake. hopefully this is the last of it, wolf. >> i suspect it's not, lisa. the turkey quake is one of the dozens of big ones this year. the strongest, an 8.8 magnitude quake rocked chile on february 27 killing more than 700 people. the day before there was a 7.0 quake in japan and on february 18th, a 6.9 quake shook the china, russia, north korea border region. no casualties there either. but the deadliest, the 7.0 quake
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in haiti on january 18th, killed more than 200,000 people. just in the past seven days there have been 72 earthquakes with magnitudes of 5.0 or higher indicated in red on this google map. more than half of them are aftershocks from the earthquake in chile. are all the earthquakes related? most seismologists say the answer is no. an initial vote count in iraq may be hours away, but a new government may be weeks or months away. what happens in the meantime? i'll ask the u.s. military commander on the ground, general ray odierno. and the big oscar winner was "the hurt locker" about the troops who disarm bombs and booby-traps in iraq. we'll have reaction from the troops in the war zone.
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to our viewers, you're in "the situation room." happening now, president obama back in campaign form pushing health care reform and taking aim at the washington news media. and a democrat ic is resigning and not going quietly. eric massa says they want to get rid of him. and the words on sarah palin's palm, are they a gift from god? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." our top story, ballot counting
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is under way in iraq after a parliamentary election that should lead to a new government. bombers killed more than three dozen people on election day, but u.s. officials say on the whole things went very, very well and u.s. troops continue their preparations for a complete withdrawal. and joining us now from baghdad, u.s. army general ray odierno, the commanding general u.s. forces in iraq. general, thank you very much for joining us. are you ready to declare the elections in iraq a success? >> wolf, i think i am for a couple of reasons. one is the fact that the iraqi people turned out in large numbers -- young and old -- all over the country, all ethnosectarian groups participated. violence was relatively low. there were two significant incidents, but besides that, i believe violence was low and the iraqi security forces did a very good job of protecting the
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people for the election. >> do you believe the winners and the losers will cooperate in the next step? >> i think they all realize that no one will have an outright majority. so they know that they will have to form a coalition government. for that reason, they know they are going to have to work together in some manner. so i think they will work through this and they will decide how they're going to work together and they will move together to form a government. >> does the u.s. military care who is the leader of the next government, who the next prime minister is? >> we don't. we want the iraqi people to choose and we want the individuals that the iraqi people choose as part of the counsel of representatives to decide. we will not get involved in being involved in selecting the next prime minister. >> how worried are you that it could take a long time to form the next government. the last elections resulted in weeks and months of delay. that could be an issue this time around.
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>> well, of course, we're concerned about that. but we have plans in place. we have worked carefully with the government of iraq over the last several months to establish committees with the government to ensure that they sustain security during the caretaker government period as they form the new government. i feel we have a good plan in place. i remind everyone that iraq is a much different country in 2010 than it was in 2006. the iraqi security forces are much more mature and the political system is more mature. >> does that mean that the military forces which you command will be able to withdraw on schedule, and just to remind our viewers, by the end of august 50,000 combat troops are to be out and by the end of next year, 2011, the remaining 50,000 are supposed to be out. is that on schedule? >> i feel confident that it is. this is an evolutionary process and we have been slowly turning over more and more responsibility to the iraqi security forces.
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i believe today that by august we'll be able to be down to 50,000 people. i believe by the end of 2011 we will leave iraq. >> all u.s. forces basically except for trainers will be out of iraq. >> well, i think there is a chance that we'll have some sort of a security assistance mission at the end of 2011 but that will be up to the government of iraq. i think there is a high probability that could happen. >> peter beiner wrote this on the daily beast website. he said, the problem is that this timetable may be a virtual death sentence for iraqi democracy. although security has dramatically improved, iraq's leaders have resolved barely any of the conflicts that nearly tore the country apart a few years back. do you agree with the assessment? >> well, i think it's a little harsh. i think the iraqi politicians have solved some of the problems. they have definitely not solved all of their problems.
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reconciliation between groups takes a long period of time. i think this election is another step toward reconciliation. as they form the government and realize that all groups have to be included in the government, that will cause reconciliation among all of the different political groups. so i believe we're on the right track. i believe we have a real opportunity here and we'll continue to watch it carefully. we'll continue to do our assessments and we'll continue to make good, sound decisions in iraq. >> how much influence does iran right now -- the regime in tehran of ahmadinejad have on politicians -- influential politicians in iraq? >> what we would like to see is iran respect iraq's sovereignty and allow the iraqi people to choose their next government. we would like to see all countries in the region allow iraq to continue to build its political process and economic and military capabilities
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without interference. i think there's got to be a good relationship with iran. what we want to see is it to be a positive relationship and not one built on threats or violence. >> what about the relationship right now? how much of an impact do the iranians have on what's going on in iraq? >> well, i mean, i think they have a stake in iraq. i think they believe it has something to do with their own national security. i think they want to be able to try to shape the end state in iraq. but, wolf, i truly believe that the iraqis will look to what's best for iraq first. they are truly nationalistic. i have learned that over my several years here. they care about iraq first. they will always look to do what's best for iraq. >> you're saying most of the iraq sunniss, kurds, shiites see themselves as iraqi first and
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their religious or ethnic background second? >> i do for the most part. there are exceptions, but for the large majority, absolutely correct. i think they will make decisions in that way. that doesn't mean they don't have a relationship with other countries but they say iraq first. >> here's what charles levinson wrote thursday in the wall street journal. u.s. commanders say they have witnessed a remarkable and troubling new phenomenon. sunni al qaeda linked insurgents are cooperating with shiite militias to coordinate more effective attacks against iraqi and u.s. forces. is that true that there is a coordination between shiite and sunni militants? >> only at the local level. it's based on their own survival. their ability to conduct operations has been degraded and the only way they can continue is cooperation at the local level. there is no cooperation at all
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at more senior levels of the insurgency. >> how significant is al qaeda in iraq right now? >> well, it's still able to conduct some high profile attacks. but it no longer in any way reflects the broad-based insurgency it did in 2006. today, i consider it to be a covert terrorist organization capable only of conducting covert terrorist operations. frankly, as they have continued to do this over the last months, all they do is continue to alienate the iraqi population. and the iraqi population has clearly rejected al qaeda here in iraq. >> bottom line, mission accomplished? >> not yet. as i say, i have been saying for a very long time here, we won't know if we were successful here until three, five or ten years from today. it will depend on how iraq turns out. it will depend on if iraq is a
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democratic nation that's helping stability to be sustained here in the middle east. >> let me just ask you one final question, general, before i let you go. i know you have a lot going on. have you seen the movie "the hurt locker" which won the academy award for best picture of the year? >> i have. they actually sent me a copy so i could look at it several months ago. it's a compelling movie about the heroism and the camaraderie about what some of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines go through in iraq and afghanistan. i think it's an important depiction of some of the sacrifices that go on here in iraq and afghanistan. >> so you would recommend it? the troops liked that film? >> i would highly recommend it. >> general, thank you very much for joining us. good luck over there. we're counting on you. >> thank you very much, wolf. it's always a pleasure to be with you. >> "the hurt locker" shows the
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very dangerous work done by troops who disarm bombs and boobytraps. so what do the troops in today's afghanistan war think of the film? listen to this. >> i thought that "the hurt locker" was pretty good. i enjoyed it. whether or not i think it's accurate could be debated. overall, i think that the job of eod was decently accurate. i'm not too sure about that because i'm not an eod tech. but i thought it was good overall. it portrayed the main actor, if you will, kind of as a renegade or a rule-breaker kind of doing his own thing. i don't think that was accurate or realistic at all. >> i thought the movie was overall pretty good. it was realistic, kind of shows the dangers and stuff like that that a lot of eod techs run into. >> i thought it was pretty good.
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i mean, i thought there was a lot of action. a lot of excitement. some of the stuff i didn't necessarily agree with, you know, like going out and going rogue. that's not necessarily the things that i'd necessarily believe in. >> "the hurt locker" wins the academy award, the oscar. a key al qaeda figure apparently under arrest in pakistan, but why are his identity and nationality shrouded in mystery? what's going on? and it came from outer space. scientists finally agree on what killed the dinosaurs. stay with us. tion i'm going to the bathroom more often. he checks it out. good thing. turns out... my urinary symptoms -- such as going frequently, trouble going, flow starts and stops... and going often at night -- are due to bph, also called enlarged prostate. he says over time, avodart has been shown to shrink the prostate,
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lisa sylvester is monitoring top stories in "the situation room" now. what's going on? hi, there, wolf. a team of scientists has agreed on what killed off the dinosau s 65 million years ago. the culprit, a single giant asteroid. researchers say it was likely six miles in diameter traveling 6,000 miles an hour when it slammed into the gulf of mexico. some say the impact was, quote, more powerful than all the atomic weapons on the planet going off at once. the premier of disney's big budget version of "alice in wonderland" raked in $116.3 million on opening weekend, the
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biggest debut out earning "avatar." this highlights the ongoing appeal of 3-d movies. and lil wayne heads to prison. he was sentenced to a year on felony drug charges. in 2007 he had a pistol on his tour bus outside new york's beacon theater but sentencing was delayed twice. first so he could go to the dentist and then because of a fire at a manhattan courthouse. she lived long enough to have 114 candles on her birthday cake, but mary josephine ray certified as the oldest living person in the united states has died. her grand daughter said she passed away sunday peacefully at a new hampshire nursing home. the oldest living american is now neva morris of iowa. born in 1895, wolf. >> can you imagine what mary
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josephine ray saw in her years between 1895 and 2010, how the world has changed? >> a lot of changes in that time. amazing stuff. >> a long wonderful life for her. all right. thank you very much, lisa. here's a question. is an american-born al qaeda spokesman under arrest or not? and what should u.s. authorities do if they get their hands on him? i'll ask cnn's homeland security contributor. and sarah palin's crib note controversy is back and jeanne moos couldn't be happier.
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pakistan's capture of an alleged al qaeda operative remains shrouded in mystery. on sunday, two officials said adam gadahn was under arrest. but u.s. officials are now casting doubt on the claims. one calling the reports bogus. a pakistani source tells me the report is also not true. let's bring in our national security contributor fran townsend, the homeland security adviser to president bush and worked in the justice department during the clinton administration as well. apparently they arrested someone. they were confused but it wasn't
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adam gadahn which caused a lot of disappointment around the world, especially here in the united states. >> well, because he would be a huge capture, wolf. you'll remember going back to prior to the 2004 re-election of president bush adam gadahn, along with bin laden issued a videotape calling for blood to run in the streets if bush was re-elected. there was much controversy about whether or not that influenced the outcome of the election. gadahn was one of the first identified as an american member of al qaeda. he's been active in the media arm of al qaeda. so his capture would be very significant. he's had a relationship directly with bin laden. he understands how the organization work. so i think when there were initial reports people were very excited about it. >> he's been charged with treason as well by the united states. >> that's right. but it shouldn't be a surprise that they are trying to keep it a secret who it is. we don't know whether it is an american.
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the pakistanis are calling it a foreigner. but there is good reason. while you're getting initial threat information, intelligence information you want it secret because you want enough time -- you don't need a lot, but some time to action it. i expect that's why american and pakistani officials are putting the kibosh on it. >> you don't want the bad guys to take steps to make sure that anything he knows might be useless. but say they would have captured him and one day they do. would the pakistanis give him to the united states? what would they do? >> you know, wolf, that's a real question. typically the americans ask if they can participate in interrogation of someone of interest to them. the pakistanis may or may not permit that. this brings into question all of the issues that we saw in the wake of the christmas day attempted bombing. remember, in the hearings, admiral blaire, the director of national intelligence was asked a question about the high value
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detainee interrogation group, the group that the new administration set up and centered over at the fbi. admiral blaire said, we intended when we capture overseas, well, but he also went on to say that it hadn't been -- that policy had not yet been implemented. well, we don't know yet whether or not it's been implemented. if there was somebody caught yoef seas, are they in a position to actually have that team deploy overseas and participate in such an interrogation. then, of course, there are all the related questions of, would they treat him as an intelligence and national security individual, and not worry about miranda and criminal process, or would they presume him to be -- we don't know the answer to those questions. frankly, the administration has not been forthcoming with the details of how they'll make those decisions. >> what is abundantly clear, at least i've been told by high-ranking officials, the pakistanis, not only the government, but the military, intelligence community are cooperating with the u.s. much more effectively now than they
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did in the past. i don't think there's any doubt about that. thanks very much for that, fran. assessing america's first black president. a woman who lived through apartheid in south africa. we'll speak exclusively with winnie mandela. with 4g from sprint, i can download files up to 10x faster than 3g... outside. i can stream the movie airplane to my cell phone... at the airport. i can have a crystal-clear videoconference with my clients... ...muffin basket or something... ...while working offsite,
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dramatic pictures coming in from oklahoma right now. severe weather. what do we know, lisa?
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>> we have pictures to share with you coming from elk city, oklahoma. severe weather and what appears to be a funnel cloud. this video coming in from our affiliate kwtv. police are telling us in elk city it has passed through the area there with no damage. but it is heading to rogers mills county in western oklahoma. police are obviously advising people to take cover. wolf? >> we'll stay on top of this story as well out in oklahoma. lisa, thank you. reading sarah palin's palms, crib note controversy is back. and jeanne moos is next.
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the handwriting is on the wall. or in the case of former republican vice presidential candidate, sarah palin. she says she's hand in hand with god. our jeanne moos is hands-down with this most unusual story. >> reporter: we swear to god. god has now gotten into the sarah palin writing on her hand brouhaha.
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>> hey, if it was good enough for god scribbling on the palm of his hand, it's good enough for me. >> reporter: just when we thought we'd washed our hands of this controversy, it's back. remember how she was ceaselessly mocked by others writing on their haents. paper isn't expensive. and even writing on their feet. or did you forget that, too? even the white house press secretary evoked groans. for mocking palin. >> i wrote eggs, milk and bread. >> reporter: and he was mocked in turn, having all his ums edits together. and now some are saying even god writes on his hands. it's in the bible. >> then somebody sent me the other day isaiah 49:16. >> reporter: will thy not forget thee, though i have engraved thee on the palms of my hand. >> i'm like, okay, i'm in good
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company. >> reporter: and joking about exactly what god had written on his palm. it said memo to self, no more sarah palins. of course, palin herself has joined in the fun. >> we're not using cue cards tonight, jay. >> what are we using? >> hey, jay, we're going old school tonight. >> reporter: palin's palm reading even made it into a campaign commercial. >> my name is tom james and i approve this message. >> reporter: he's running in tennessee inspired by palin for coming up with words for what's missing in washington. >> we threw it together in a day. it was kind of a done on the cheap, the cost of less than $20. >> reporter: and his own hand-me-downs. >> heidi montag as -- oh, tiger woods. oh, amy white house.
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>> reporter: now the right is highlighting a democrat, dianne feinstein, who had notes on her hand during a 1990 debate. >> she was violating the debate rules. >> reporter: but at least now sarah palin isn't looking down. >> we've got to start reining in the spending. >> reporter: she's looking up. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. happening now, president obama comes out swinging in the fight for health care reform. this hour, is he going after a couple of easy targets, and will it get in closer to victory. only one american missionary remains in custody in haiti right now. an investigation of child kidnapping. she's explaining to cnn why she thinks her colleague was let go today and she wasn't. and dick cheney's daughter, liz, under fire by fellow republicans. did she take an unfair shot at government lawyers who once represented suspected terrorists. we'll hear from both sides. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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-- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com if you listened to president obama today, it's hard to tell who he dislikes more, washington or the health insurance industry. they were both prime targets in his remarks in pennsylvania. part of his final push for health care reform. listen to his opening shot. >> when you're in washington, folks respond to every issue, every decision, every debate, no matter how important it is with the same question, what does this mean for the next election? what does it mean for your poll numbers? is this good for the democrats or good for the republicans? who won the news cycle? that's just how washington is. they can't help it. >> the president went out to
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slam private health insurers, recounted what an insurance broker told investors of goldman sachs during a recent conference call. >> this broker said that insurance companies know they will lose customers if they keep on raising premiums. but because there's so little competition in the insurance industry, they're okay with people being priced out of the insurance market, because first of all, a lot of folks are going to be stuck, and even if some people drop out, they'll still make more money by raising premiums on customers that they keep. and they will keep on doing this for as long as they can get away with it. there's no secret they're telling their investors this. we are in the money. >> let's bring in our senior white house correspondent, ed henry. ed, this certainly sounds like a new tone coming from the president. >> no doubt. you mentioned it was fiery, wolf. when you talk about the two arguments, when you break it down, the president has been talking for months about
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washington and gridlock. that necessarily -- hasn't necessarily worked. the whole argument of telling fellow democrats, don't worry about the politics, let's just do the right thing. he still has a lot of fellow democrats to bring along. i think it's the second argument that has resonance. as one white house aide to told me it's almost like the insurance companies give the white house ammunition. talking about raising premiums up to 39%. now as you mention on the investor call with goldman sachs investors an insurance broker suggesting that these high premiums really helping the bottom line, the profit margins of these insurance companies. that's something that might really resonate. the president's been hitting that of the i found it interesting afterwards democratic senator arlen specter said he was real i fiery. but wishes the president had been this fiery at the state of the union a couple of months ago. that's the big question out of all of this, is it too little, too late, wolf. >> now he wants this done by the easter recess. the whole thing done, signed into law. that's only a few weeks away, at
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the end of this month. is it going to happen? >> that the big question moving forward. robert gibbs did set the deadline of march 18th. it was interesting yesterday on nbc, kathleen sebelius seemed to dance around that, would not commit to that deadline. i also noticed the president today did not talk about any deadline at all. aides still insisting the deadline is firm to get it done by the end of this month. essentially. but as you know, deadline after deadline has been missed leading back through last year, into the early part of this year. and the bottom line, right now, this president just doesn't have the votes. so they can talk about deadlines, but until they get the votes in the house and senate, the leaders are not going to call up that vote. they're not going to do that role call and get it done just yet. it's still an open question. >> he would love it to be time by the time he leaves march 18th for his trip to asia, and if not by then, by the end of the month, the easter recess. as of right now, democrat eric massa of new york state is a former congressman. his resignation went into effect
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about two hours ago. but the controversy over his exit may be just we ging. massa is disputing an allegation he sexually harassed a male staffer and he's accusing house leaders of essentially pushing him out of the door. our congressional correspondent brianna keeler is up on capitol hill. what do we know? >> reporter: massa is really taking aim at the number two democrat in the house, steny hoyer, saying he intentionally and maliciously has drawn attention to massa's ethics woes. massa went on to say the democratic leaders want him out of congress, and it all boils down to an impending health care vote. it's expected this vote is going to be very close and massa was planning to break with democratic leaders and vote no. >> i was set up for this from the very, very beginning. if you think they somehow didn't come after me to get rid of me because i'm the deciding vote in the health care bill, you live in a war that's so innocent not
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to understand what's going on in washington, d.c. >> reporter: a spokesperson for hoyer's office said that's completely false. and there's merit to that accusation. massa is facing an ethics inquiry for making one of his male staffers uncomfortable according to a senior aide saying the allegations involve a sexual implication. my own language failed to meet the standards that i set for all around me, and myself. but on a local radio station in his upstate new york district, he said the incident in question took place at the wedding of one of his staffers. painting a picture of lewd locker room banter. >> the staff member made an intonation to me maybe i should be chasing after the brides made. his words were far more colorful than that. and i grabbed the staff member sitting next to me and said, well, what i really ought to be doing is fracing you. and then tussled the guy's hair and left. went to my room. because i knew the party was getting to a point where it wasn't right for me to be there. now, was that inappropriate of
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me? absolutely. am i guilty? yes. >> reporter: now, hoyer's office, again, insists that he was not intentionally trying to draw attention to these allegations. they say that on wednesday he was asked point-blank by a reporter if he was aware of these allegations before the story broke, and he said yes. following that, his office put out a statement saying that when hoyer was aware of these allegations, when he was made aware, he basically told his staff to tell massa that they needed to tell the ethics committee, or he, hoyer, would. his office says this has nothing to do with health care reform. >> is he right when he says he's the deciding vote on health care reform? >> reporter: no doubt this is a good thing in terms of a vote count for democratic leaders. because having another no vote that they don't have to contend with, they don't have to match up a yes vote to overcome that, that's good for them, in terms of the count. but it's really too early to tell, wolf, if he really would have been, you know, the one vote that would have lost this for them. >> brianna watching it up on
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capitol hill, thank you. by the way, we're going to hear from eric massa here tomorrow night on cnn. there will be a guest on "larry king live" that airs at 9:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow, tuesday. now to haiti, where another american missionary has been released after being held on suspicion of child kidnapping. she walked out of a police headquarters building headed to an airport. she's one of ten americans detained shortly after the haiti earthquake. eight of her colleagues were released last month. that leaves just one, laura silsby, in custody right now. cnn's sarah sidener was able to talk to silsby about her fate. >> reporter: i just want to ask you a quick question. what did the judge say to you today? >> i can't talk about that yet. okay? >> reporter: you're the only person left of all the missionaries. >> i'm very happy crista went home today. >> reporter: why are you the last person left? >> because i am the leader of the team.
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they're still finishing their process. >> reporter: did you do anything wrong? did you try to kidnap these children? >> oh, of course not. i came here to help the children. >> reporter: what's happening right now is laura silsby is being taken back into custody. she is now the only remaining american baptist missionary who is accused of basically kidnapping these 33 haitian children and trying to take them over the border without permission. she is now being taken into custody, back into custody. she has been in custody for more than a month now. she is literally the last person left here in haiti, because coulter has been finally set free. she was set free by the judge today. she's heading to the airport and sent home. that's the latest on the situation here. we do understand that silsby believes she is going to be set free herself very soon. as you just heard her say.
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sara sidner, cnn, haiti. is the president of the united states now adding the news media to the culprits holding up health care reform? plus, the u.s. calls iraq's election a success, but many iraqis are paying a very heavy price for trying to exercise their right to vote. stay with us. you're in "the situation room."
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good time for debate, now
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over. when it comes to health care reform, president obama is keeping washington and the news media right in the cross hairs. the president was all fired up talking outside philadelphia today. >> who won the news cycle? that's jut how washington is. they can't help it. they are obsessed with the sport of politics. and so that's the environment in which elected officials are operating. you've seen all the pundits pontificating and talking all over each other on the cable shows and they're yelling and shouting. they can't help themselves. that's what they do. >> let's discuss what the president is saying. with david gergen, senior political analyst and james carville and ed rollins. in my many years here in washington, whenever a politician goes after the news media like that, it's a sign of trouble for the politicians.
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>> it is. maybe the president was surprised to find pundits when he came to washington. but we've been around for quite a while. i don't know if we -- we're probably not deserving of very much. but i don't know if we deserve all the attention we're getting from the president. but we're here, and been here for quite a while and probably be around for a while. >> he doesn't like that cable chatter, ed, of which you're a part of that cable chatter. >> well, i've been -- i was in the white house when cable was in its infancy. but it certainly has had an impact. the bottom line is, he's the 44th man to serve in the oval office. every single president at some point in time has complained about the media, whether it's pamphlets in the early days of georgia or cable television today. i have found presidents have usually two great days in the white house, one, the day they get inaugurated, and the second, the day they get their library dedicated. everything else is trench
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warfare. i think if things are going well, there's no staff dissent. when things are not going well, which they're not going well for this president, then there's a lot of staff dissent and they start a lot of finger pointing. i think this president comes off very whiney. and i think it's beneath him. i think at the end of the day he needs to toughen up. he picked the agenda, he ran with the agenda. he's had a year to try to sell his health care. he's not made the case to the american public and at the end of the day he can't whine about it. >> david, if there was ever a president who had favorable media attention over the past year or two, it was this president. he really did have a nice honeymoon as far as i can recall. >> extraordinary honeymoon, as a candidate and in the early days of his presidency. listen, i think some of the points he's making are well taken. he and a number of his aides have been making these points now incessantly for a period of weeks. but i think ed rollins has got the bigger point, when you're president, you don't whine about these things, you learn to play the game well and you master the
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game. so that you get your things done. everybody inherits politics in washington that is imperfect. and it's a terrible politics in washington today. we all agree the political culture is poisonous. but the point of being president is to learn you how to master it so it responds to you. i think they ought to stop talking about these things and get on with it. >> that's an excellent point, james. isn't that why there are david axelrods or robert gibbs in the white house so they can whine about the media coverage, but is it beneath the president to do so? >> well, he's got a lot to deal with. he's got the congress to deal with, the iranians to deal with, unemployment, and collapse in housing. he's got enough to worry about without worrying about us flapping our jaws. but i think they're awfully close to having a vote on the health care thing, which is going to be historic. for all our carping and
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everything, if he gets this thing to his desk, it will cover this thing like you've never seen. i think a lot of people think it will start creating jobs before long. so mr. president, if you come in in september and you've got health care legislation, and the economy is on the mend again, you'll be doing pretty good. just give it a little time. maybe this thing will play out your way. but we're not your problem. >> and you know what, there's a lot of focus right now, ed, on rahm emanuel, the white house chief of staff. some people are saying the president should listen more to him, others are saying he's way out on the sides right now. how do you read? what do you interpret this little battle over rahm emanuel right now? >> he's one of the most able guys i've ever posed. he has great skill. they're lucky to have him. at the end of the day, when you're the chief of staff, no matter how able you are, whether you're dick cheney, ford's chief of staff, or baker ronald reagan's chief of staff, you get
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beat up. he's getting beat up today. there's a little bit of profile problem here, and when you start getting front-page stories saying how great you are, how smart you are, there's a bunch of people in the background that want to make sure you know you're not quite so smart. david and i have both fallen victim to this and probably did a little bit of it. at the end of the day, rahm's got a tough job and i think he's a real asset to this president. >> david, you worked with him in the clinton white house? >> i agree with ed rollins' assessment. i think the profiles are damaging in part not because they're building up rahm, but doing so at expense of the president. if the president had been smart enough to listen to rahm emanuel, so goes the argument, he would be a much more effective leader right now. that is clearly not helpful. i think what the president did the other day apparently was to call in his aides and say stop this. i think he has to be -- slam the gate shut on this kind of conversation coming out of the white house and then put his arm around rahm emanuel and his other aides and say you're my guys, you're my team, let's go.
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>> all right. wrap this up for us, james. and i say that -- you're one of his best friends, we know that. >> right, right. you know what, he doesn't like these stories any more than other people in the white house like them. i mean, it's in the many in the morning. he can't eat breakfast. he knows they're not any good. i don't know how you stop them. they've taken on a life of their own. rahm's a compelling guy and people like to read about him, write about him and talk about him. that's just the way it is. just win, baby. get the health bill through. and get this economy on the mend. and you'll be a genius again and everybody will love everybody. >> and more articles are on the way, we're told, including next sunday's "new york times" magazine, has a major article on rahm emanuel by peter baker. guys, thanks very much. tomorrow, by the way, we're going to have a major discussion on education here in "the situation room." arne duncan, and bill bennett
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who served as education secretary for ronald reagan. they will both be here together, a discussion on education. critically important issue, serious discussion. that will be tomorrow right here in "the situation room." up next, cutting calories in the lunch room. former president bill clinton has some encouraging news on what the nation's children are now drinking at school. and an answer tens of millions of years in the making. scientists finally say they agree on what killed off the dinosaurs. stick around for the answer.
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lisa sylvester monitoring some other top stories in "the situation room" right now. wolf, we've been tracking this breaking news. a tornado has touched down in far western oklahoma, causing structural damage in at least one town. no reports of injuries yet. although there are reports of emergency vehicles and downed power lines. you can see them there in that picture there, in the tiny town of hammond where about 500 people live.
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we will continue to monitor this story. and bring you the latest developments. in other news, president obama has a new pick to head the tsa, retired major general robert harding, has 33 years of experience in the army and career in intelligence. the president's original pick for the position, errol southers, withdrew from consideration in january when it became clear he would have a tough senate confirmation battle. a kansas church that allowed protests at soldiers' funerals will have their case heard by the supreme court. the protesters carry signs with messages such as, thank god for dead soldiers. saying god is using troop deaths as a punishment for homosexuality. the westborough baptist church was successfully sued by a father of a fallen soldier in maryland. but that ruling was overturned and the justices decided today that they'll hear the father's appeal during the court's fall term. the beverage industry says drinks sold in schools are getting healthier. former president clinton gave the update today saying the
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number of beverage calories shipped to schools dropped by about 88% between 2004 and 2009. the voluntary program replaces full-calorie soft drinks with lower-calorie, smaller-portion beverage also. a team of scientists agree on what killed off the sign sawyers 65 mlg years ago. the culprit? a single giant asteroid. researchers say it was likely six miles in diameter, traveling thousands of miles an hour when it slammed into the gulf of mexico. one member of the team says the asteroid's impact was "more powerful than all the atomic weapons on the planet going off at once." that is something else to think. an asteroid apparently did in the dinosaurs, wolf. >> 65 million years ago, i hope another one isn't on the way. >> when i heard that story, that was the same thing, let's not pray another one's not coming anytime soon. >> we don't need those asteroids. thanks very much. u.s. officials say iraq's election went very well.
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so why did many iraqis pay a terrible price for trying to exercise their right to vote. we're going to baghdad. some say she's even more politically combative than her father. now liz cheney is taking some serious heat from fellow conservatives.
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they're counting the ballots in iraq today, after millions of
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people turned out for the parliamentary election. u.s. troops prepare to withdraw. but the vote was marred by serious violence, and many iraqis are still paying a bitter price for democracy. cnn's arwa damon has the story from baghdad. arwa? >> reporter: wolf, while many are celebrating iraq's historic elections, for some it was a day of sheer tragedy. at least 38 iraqis were killed in election violence. this is one family's story. 5-year-old has san is dead. killed on election day. along with his mother, aunt, and her two children. insurgents blew up the building they were living in. has san's brother, 8-year-old hussein, survived. i was just standing on the balcony when it happened, he says. i didn't feel anything. i was just lying on the ground and my apartment had collapsed. his great-uncle says hussein was thrown from the building.
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when i arrived, i just saw him on the ground screaming for help, and for his parents, he tells us. relatives gather under the mourning tent while others made the trip to the southern city of najaf to bury the dead. among the mourners, many who voted who are hoping for a government who will bring an end to senseless death like this one. a relative was actually an elebss volunteer, now hanging a banner to commemorate the dead. we participated in these elections because we want to change the situation, he says. we've been living for seven years with no future, no hope. so we decided to vote to get change. while election day is widely considered a success, for these families it came at a heavy price. two buildings in this neighborhood were destroyed. according to residents and police, at least 25 people killed. 19 others wounded. i heard my mom saying, i will go vote tomorrow morning, hussein says. but she never did.
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his aunt who died along with her two children was only spending the night in the apartment because she was registered to vote at the neighborhood's polling center. these elections will surely go down in history as one of iraq's defining moments. and for some families, also a day of mourning. wolf? >> arwa damon watching all of this in baghdad. the big winner in last night's academy awards including the oscar for the best picture is "the hurt locker," troops who disarm bombs and booby traps. what do they think of the movie now serving in iraq? >> the point of this movie came out, it was -- you talk to somebody, tell them you're in the military and that's what you do. i'm in the o.d. and still had to further explain it. and now somebody's like, oh, like the movie "the hurt locker." yeah, kind of like that. >> at the end of the day, it's
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fiction. so knowing that, it's still portrayed us in a positive light in some respect. but i think it could have been better. >> there's usually modest people and that's why you're not going to hear them embellish the movie too much. most of them are going to say it exaggerates what they do, even though every one of these guys is a living hero in one aspect or another. but they kind of draw the line at wanting to set themselves as being special in any way. they don't want to seem like they're any more special than your average soldier. >> the commander of the u.s. forces in iraq tells me he highly, highly recommends the film "the hurt locker." 45 years ago this week, a pivotal moment unfolded in the civil rights movement. demonstrators were beaten and tear gassed in selma, alabama. thousands returned to remember
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the day that became known as bloody sunday. among them, winnie mandela, the ex-wife of south african president nelson mandela. she spoke exclusively to roland martin about the u.s. civil rights movement and the promise of america's first black president. >> your assessment of president barack obama, his historic win as the 44th president of the united states, the first african-american, and speak to the expectations of people for someone in his position, not necessarily being bad. >> i think it is the cruel thing to have expected him to have done more than he already has. within just one year. generations and generations of oppression, even though this is one of the longest democracies. i think his task is even more
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difficult, because i think the african-americans, for instance, would expect more. and countries like the african continent would expect more from him, because he's african-american. and realistically, it is unfair. >> winnie mandela speaking to our roland martin. a runaway bull at a texas rodeo. people try to defend themselves. but how did a bull get loose in the first place.
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the top stories in "the situation room" right now. wolf, israeli and palestinian leaders are agreeing to indirect peace talks with the u.s. acting as an intermediary. george mitchell, the obama administration's special envoy for middle east peace, says the two sides have begun to discuss the structure and scope of the talks after a 14-month freeze in communications. one of the biggest sticking points is the future of west bank settlements. mitchell is asking both sides to refrain from actions that could build tensions. cars and doorways are ch charred in nigeria and stunned villagers are roaming through neighborhoods after rioters armed with machetes slaughtered more than 200 people, including a newborn baby. that's according to residents, and groups in the volatile state. yesterday's violence centered on
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three primary christian communities, just a few months ago a wave of sectarian violence in this region left 300 people dead, most of them muslim. government officials say 70 are hurt after the earthquake in turkey, which the u.s. geological survey, registered at magnitude 5.9. aftershocks have been rattling some of the hardest hit villages in the southeastern part of nation throughout the day. and rodeos, and bucking bulls, well, they go hand in hand. but usually ticket holders have to wait until they get inside the venue. not the case in houston. you can see there, amateur video, a bull got loose, sprinted through the parking lot, sending people running for cover. two people got a little roughed up before the bull was wrangled. and executive for the rodeo said security measures are now under review. that bull's got some -- a little buck in him. he's definitely going there.
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>> that could be pretty scary if you're standing around and see a bull like that running -- whoa! >> yeah. check that out. reminds me of a country music song, like it should be a country music song "a bull on the loose" or something like that. >> thanks, lisa, very much. liz cheney's backlash from the right, why she's now taking so much heat from fellow conservatives over an ad criticizing the obama justice department. in just minutes.s now it's quicker and easier for you to start your business, protect your family, and launch your dreams. at legalzoom.com, we put the law on your side.
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i thought i was invincible. i'm on an aspirin regimen now because i never want to feel that helplessness again. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. talk to your doctor, and take care of what you have to take care of.
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she may like a good fight as much as the former vice president, but this time has liz cheney simply gone too far. criticism of obama department justice department lawyers once defending terrorist suspects causing a backlash against cheney's daughter. what are you finding out? >> tensions running high among republicans. it could cause more division within the gop. then again, the cheney faction may be getting just what it wants. more political stir over the obama administration's record in the war on terror. she's her father's close confidante, sometimes thought to be more politically combative than him. now the heat from her own side of the spectrum is growing more intense for liz cheney.
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several prominent conservative lawyers, including former independent counsel ken starr, are taking sides against lynn cheney and defending the obama justice department. it started with an ad posted by keep america safe. it blasted eric holder for hiring several lawyers who had represented suspected terrorists. and accused holder of stonewalling senators who wanted to know who they were. >> whose values do they share? teller rick holder, americans have the right to know the identity of the al qaeda seven. >> reporter: in response that group of conservative lawyers issued a statement calling the republicans' krit sim of holder's team shameful and unjust. in addition to ken starr, one of the cigsignatories is bradford, attorney in the bush/cheney white house. >> where does this ad go out of bounds in your view? >> i think it's quite unfair to suggest that these lawyers in some way or another sympathize with al qaeda or with its aims or with its ideology.
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these lawyers by and large took the positions they did because they had views on some very significant and important legal issues. views that in some cases ultimately were endorsed by the supreme court. >> reporter: we contacted liz cheney for response to berenson and the others. she declined to go on camera with us, but referred us to a web posting from conservative columnist bill crystal, who's on the board of cheney's group keep america safe. crystal writes, they aren't criticizing holder for representing the detainees, but who those lawyers were. a justice official tells us the lawyers' identities were always public information and the rules don't prohibit them from making detainee policy. political analyst craig crawford said the liz cheney spat not only divides raps, it may give more backbone to the detainees. >> there's wavering on how they try these detainees. this may give them an
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opportunity not to waver and stick to their original plan. >> still, you can bet that republicans, like many on the senate judiciary committee who have been pressuring the obama team on this issue, will keep it up. they'll likely make hay out of the fact that holder's team has nine attorneys who have represented suspected terrorists, one of them neil kontial for osama bin laden's driver and john walker lindh. >> the obama team has a response to that, though. >> they say neil has made a formal argument that some detainees, including the ones at bagram air force base has no contest. and saying that a lot of detainees just should not be released. that's their counter to say what they did then has no bearing on what they're doing now. >> brian, thanks very much. all over the country, state governments right now are slashing budgets because they're strapped for cash. and there are thousands of kids like 8-year-old carlos whose lives may be changed forever.
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you'll get a better understanding how every dollar counts when you hear his story. and jack cafferty may be off, but we have the next best thing. get this, the "saturday night live" version of jack. if you're taking 8 extra-strength tylenol... a day on the days that you have arthritis pain, you could end up taking 4 times the number... of pills compared to aleve. choose aleve and you could start taking fewer pills. just 2 aleve have the strength... to relieve arthritis pain all day.
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a severe financial crisis, the state of california is now furloughing workers and cutting education budgets. thelma gutierrez tells us those cuts leave some of the most vulnerable with nowhere to turn. >> reporter: south los angeles. a community of working-class families. hit hard by the economy. as a parent, i often wonder what
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i would do if one of my kids needed mental health care and i couldn't afford it. i met a boy here who's trapped in that very predicament. this is where he lives. and this is his story. >> my name is carlos. i am 8 years old. >> reporter: carlos lives here with his sister and parents. they're unemployed, uninsured, barely scraping by. >> i'm going to show you where i sleep. my dad sleeps here and my mom sleeps here. i always want my room to be clean. >> reporter: do you want it to be big? >> shiny, big. >> reporter: you want someone to come and be impressed? by your house? >> yeah. >> reporter: among carlos' many challenges in life, he also suffers from severe anxiety and adhd. so you were talking about the things that you wish you could change. what would you change? >> i would change my life.
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>> reporter: you would change your life? >> i was going to -- i dream about i was going to change my life. >> reporter: we caught a glimpse into into why at st. john's community clinic in south los angeles. this is where he regularly meets with i director of behavioral health. she's trying to unlock the causes of his angst. he's about to begin an that is right therapy session to help express things going on in his life. you might wund why a family would alley loy he awe camera into a private therapy session like this, but his mother believes it's critical that people understand how important these services are. >> the family fights. is that what's happening in this picture here? >> yes. >> so this is my mom. >> that's your mom. you huh. >> this is my dad. >> that's your dad. >> uh-huh. how does that make you feel? >> sad. >> i cry. >> you cry.
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>> he tells her his dad used to drink, that led to fighting between mom and dad. he says at home there was no escape. that was six months ago. now what do you tell them? >> i tell them not to fight. i tell them if you fight, i'm out of here. >> he first came to me because he was having lots of problems at home, and mom did not know how to modify his behavior. the teacher was frustrated, did not know how to help carlos, and was basically just writing him up or sending him to the office or wanting him out of the classroom instead of working with him. >> his mom tells me she worried her son was being written off at the age of 8. he felt labeled as a bad kid and rejected by his teacher. does he have insurance? she says she knew he needed mental health care so she searched for clinics that
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accepted medical. she tried really hard to get carlos help and took him to four different clinics and each time she was told he didn't qualify because he wasn't considered an emergency. carlos would have to be physically violent or suicidal to get help. it sounds extreme, but an ofibl with the los angeles county department of mental health told us right now clinics are so overloaded and underfunded, they're having to triage children so that means kids like carlos who need ongoing therapy are not a priority. >> our session today was very positive. >> after a year of searching, she finally found st. john's, a free clinic. >> they look like fists. >> like fists. that's what he was able to express. he was able to express the anxiety he feels when his family fights. >> if carlos were not able to come to therapy sessions, would he be at risk? >> he would at risk. he would be at risk behaviorally and academically. >> but now st. john's and other
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clinics are facing the bulgt cuts. will carlos be next? them ma gutierrez, cnn, los angeles. >> last may californians voted down five to six budget deficits, among other things the rejected propositions includes increasing reserve fund and increasing personal income tax on people making over a million dollars a year. many people point to the pass little of proposition 13 in 1978 as a major reason for california's current budget issues, prop 13 put a cap on property taxes and made it a requirement for state tax hikes to receive a two-third majority vote from both houses. let's go to campbell brown. what are you working on? tonight, as you know, a lot of our nation's schools facing a very serious budget crisis, and one answer that some are looking
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at is switching to a four-day school week. we'll talk to an official who says her district has no choice next year other than switching to a tuesday through friday school week. also, a cnn special investigation into one of the hottest new trends in the sush bushes. more sp more women, middle class soccer moms choosing medical marijuana to relax, to cut stress as well as street much more serious medical conditions. we'll talk about that at the hop of the hour. wolf. >> four-day school week. in some countries they have a six-day school week. that's a shocking development. you know what they say about imitation being the highest form of flattery. we're very, very -- we feel flattered by the gang over at "snl." stick around to see why. not just sinus headache... owwww.... [ male announcer ] but pressure... and congestion. ooohhh.... [ male announcer ] you need a sinus medicine that rescues you from all three symptoms. introducing sudafed pe® triple action™. for more complete relief from the sinus triple threat.
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senator al franken can add comic book hero to his he resume. they say the comic al franken political spour due out in may
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and it will trace his career from comedian and writer to radio talk show host to junior senator from minnesota. other politicians featured in the earlier comics include president obama, president reagan and the the late senator, ted kennedy. karl rove said he had nothing to do with the 2000 smear campaign against john mccain. he insists he was not the source of the rumor during the presidential campaign that mccain had fathered a black child out of wedlock. rove says he was an easy target for the critics. the rumor was false. the mccains adopted an for fan from bangladesh. for the late heest political news like at cnn.com. you know you've made when they spoof you on "saturday night live." it happened this past weekend, this time gloria and jack cafferty fans may get a chuckle. check it out. >> we go now live to another
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part of the studio where senior political analyst gloria will read a stranger's e-mail. >> thank you, wolf. this just in, mike from uc davis writes, i think the real problem on campus is the food. why i got to eat turkey burgers ever day and why they don't serve at 3 a.m. when i hungy sxchlt where my frisbee at? probing questions, mike. >> we've heard from the young and vibrant. now let's hear from the old and cranky with our ownafter cafferty. >> hello, wolf. i'm reporting live on the scene in the cnn studio sitting right next to you. >> very funny stuff. you want more maybe we'll play more tomorrow. tomorrow we have a major discussion, the reagan education secretary

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